Our Voices Arkansas

The Voices of Grassroots Conservatives Across Arkansas

Aug 4, 2014

House Blocks EPA Endangered Species Overreach

Last week, the U.S. House (including our entire Arkansas delegation) passed HR 4315 to help protect property rights and fight against EPA overreach in Arkansas.  Unfortunately, HR 4315 is expected to DIE in the Democrat-controlled SENATE under Harry Reid’s iron fist. ** Tightening Up the Endangered Species Act Process (HR 4315)** U.S. House Passed 233...

by OurVoicesAR

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house-ESALast week, the U.S. House (including our entire Arkansas delegation) passed HR 4315 to help protect property rights and fight against EPA overreach in Arkansas.  Unfortunately, HR 4315 is expected to DIE in the Democrat-controlled SENATE under Harry Reid’s iron fist.

** Tightening Up the Endangered Species Act Process (HR 4315)**

U.S. House Passed 233 – 190
Requires Department of Interior (DOI) to publish online the scientific basis of all new endangered and threatened species designations under the 1973 Endangered Species Act.

Also requires DOI to treat data from state, local & tribal governments as “best available science” in making species decisions.

Mandates a $125/hour cap on government payment of “prevailing attorney fees” in litigation challenging endangered species designations (sweetheart lawsuits).

Rick Crawford YES
Tim Griffin YES
Steve Womack YES
Tom Cotton YES

** Remove from HR 4315 the Requirement to Use “Best Available Science” **

Failed 204 – 215
A “yes” vote would have stripped the requirement from the bill, so that the DOI would not have to treat data from state, local & tribal governments as “best available science” in making species decisions.

IF this amendment had passed, nothing will change from the way sweetheart lawsuits are settled now.

By design, plaintiffs in sweetheart lawsuits demand scientific data “in a timely manner” and, of course, the government knows it cannot comply — so the lawsuit many times automatically defaults to the plaintiff due to this requirement alone.  The requirement to use “best available science” (that was ultimately included in HR 4315) attempts to correct this problem by amending the approval process to use the data that’s already available via state and local governments.

Rick Crawford NO
Tim Griffin NO
Steve Womack NO
Tom Cotton NO

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